By Phil Lanning
RICKY Evans believes he can win major titles and still be the “Gazza” of darts.
The Kettering ace is well known as the jester of the oche with a super-quick throw, daft dances and antics on social media.
But Rapid remains defiant that he can turn clown into crowns and take major championship titles despite his reputation.
He said: “I know what people think of me and I won’t change. But I do believe you can have a laugh and still be a winner. I know people think I’m like some kind of Paul Gascoigne. But Gazza was a world class footballer and still daft at times, so it can be done.
“The likes of Peter Wright and Dimitri Van den Bergh dance on stage yet still go on to win major titles, so can I.
“The only thing maybe is that the fans underestimate my ability. They talk more about me being daft than my standard of play.
“But my biggest problem over the last couple of years was meeting Michael van Gerwen in the third round of the World Championship two years in a row, and losing 4-0 both times.
“Yet in both those games I played really well, especially in December when I lost three sets by a deciding leg.”
Evans, 30, has now joined up with management firm MDA Promotions and with new sponsor TXODDS as he bids for a breakthrough 2021.
He added: “My manager Matt Ward has been guiding me on when to be daft and when to be focused. I’ve got new backing from TXODDS and the belief is there more than ever.
“I’ve had a tough couple of weeks because I had to self-isolate after my Test and Trace app told me that I’d come into contact with a Covid-19 sufferer.
“So I’ve literally spent 10 days stuck in my bedroom at home. Both my mum and dad and sister are all classed as high-risk, through being diabetic and a stomach problem. So I’ve had to keep away from them in the same house.
“I’ve just been solidly practicing and getting myself ready for the Super Series in Milton Keynes later this month. I’m still in good form, now I’ve got to prove it.”